Sunday, March 2, 2014

6 Crucial Practices to Consider for Today SEO

No doubt you've noticed that Google's search results page is continuously changing. In the past, it consisted of traditional organic and sponsored site matches for relevant keyword search. Today, it is comprised of videos, images, local maps, reviews, as well as social links. If you are competing for search engine rankings, below are a few basic tips that can get assist in getting prospects to find your website.

1. Social Media Matters

Social media is having an impact on search results. In fact, both Bing and Google have admitted in interviews that their search results are positively affected by social signals, such as Twitter tweets, Facebook Likes, and Google+1s.

Search engines are realizing that if people share your content that it's probably pretty good, which means consumers can now influence search results with clicks, tags, ratings, and bookmarks. Also, since search engines are able to display results in virtual real-time, tweets and Google+ results are now appearing above all other content.

Without a doubt social media is impacting how search engines are able to deliver more immediate and relevant results, which will only assist those businesses that are creating content that people love and engaging with them.

2. Local Priority!
For most searches Google displays its Places Listings and for many local companies this is an excellent opportunity to obtain visibility online. In fact, research has found that users are inclined to focus on the Google Places listings regardless how they are positioned on the search results page. With that said, if you're a local business owner, at the very least you NEED to have an Optimized Google Places listing.

Take advantage of all the content opportunities that Google provides by including as much information about the products and services you offer. Additionally, when possible link specific keywords or phrases back to a page on your website that is designed for conversion.

3. Another opportunity with Google Places are Reviews.

While Google only displays reviews that were created on their site, it is also important to seek out reviews from other online directories such as CitySearch, Insider Pages, Angie's List, Yelp, Judy's Book, Yahoo! Local, Super pages, and Trip Advisor. More and more, consumers are turning to reviews prior to making purchases so being considered a reputable source online can provide you with a significant competitive advantage. Finally, ensure that you listing is stated exactly the same in all of your directory submissions. If you abbreviate your address on one of them, abbreviate it on all of them.

4. Ad Heavy Pages Will Be Punished

I'm sure you been on a web page that could be considered ad-heavy... pages that have virtually no content. Well, Google is currently testing algorithms that determine the things that really matter, and how much content is above the fold. Matt Cutts, head of the web spam team at Google has recently stated, "If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it," asking publishers to consider, "Do they see content or something else that's distracting or annoying?"

5. Remember, content is still king.
The most effective long term SEO strategies include the creation of well written, relevant content across the internet. One way to accomplish this is to not only blog, but to guest blog on other non-related industry sites. Just remember that the content needs to be relevant to what you do. I write articles and blog posts for the water park industry even though it is an entirely different market than internet consulting. However, there are any number of related topics that I can write content as it relates to my area of expertise within the water park industry.

6. You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure
When managing a website it's essential to make changes based on results, but in order to do so it's critical to use the right tools. When reviewing key word performance use a tool that measures the competitiveness of the keyword or phrase as well as your page rank and position on various search engines. This data, if monitored regularly, will allow you to compare the performance of your key words. This information is critical to making smart decisions when adjusting your content marketing plan.

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